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The Sun is our Star!

.......and as you would expect, our Star is hot, bright, dynamic, and sometimes quite violent.

At 93 million miles away, we are ideally placed at a point where the Sun provides just enough warmth and energy essential to our living planet, Earth.

At only 93 million miles, the Sun is close enough for us to view its surface through a fairly inexpensive specialized scope from the comfort and relative safety (sunscreen, please) of our backyards on a clear and sunny day.

What! Astronomy during the day? Lunt Solar wants to show you how.


These look like eruptions from the edge of the Solar disk. Prominences can appear as small spiky-looking details, or large cloud-like detail with fine feather-like features. They are, in fact, ionized Hydrogen-alpha emissions being projected from the limb.

Prominences are anchored to the Sun's surface in the Mesosphere, and extend outward into the Sun's Troposphere. They typically measure many earth diameters.

Filaments are string-like features on the surface of the Sun. At high resolution they take on a 3D effect due to the cooler aspect of the suspended filament contrasted against the bright, hotter Sun.

Filaments are actually prominences being viewed against the surface.

A Spicule is a dynamic jet of gas about 500km long. They move outward at about 20km/second through the Chromosphere.

Father Angelo Secchi of the Vatican Observatory discovered them in 1877.

The Chromosphere is entirely composed of Spicules. These features can be seen as "fur" around the edge of the disk.

There's definitely stuff to look at :)

January 12th, 2012

January 15th,  2012

Crackling with C-class solar  flares, a pair of active sunspots is emerging over the sun’s northeastern limb  today. Our BRASSO SID Receiver recorded 3 flares yesterday afternoon  just before sunset. BRASSO Solar Graphs can be found here: http://sid.stanford.edu/database-browser/

Sunspot 1401 produced an  M1-flare on Jan. 14th. Two days earlier, while it was still on the farside of  the sun, sunspot 1402 produced a partially-eclipsed flare of uncertain magnitude  that created waves of ionization in the atmosphere over  Europe.

To make these spots even more  interesting one needs to observe them with a Hydrogen Alpha filter. As the two  HUGE sunspots emerge over the limb they resemble a set of eyes. And to  make it even better there is a huge filament beneath them that looks like a huge  crescent, adding a smile beneath the eyes.

Imagine my surprise when I  looked in the scope today and saw this smiley face looking back at  me…..

This is a composite of 3 images  stitched together.

Scope: Lunt Solar Systems  LS60THa w/B1200CRF

Mount: Losmandy G-11 mounted in  a Skyshed POD

Camera: Canon 40D using EOS  MOV_REC capture

Each section utilized 4000  frames, Stacked in Registax v6

Image stitched and colorized in  Adobe Photoshop CS5.1

Full disk image, Lunt LS60THa & B1200 blocking Filter.  Mounted on a Losmandy G-11 in a Skyshed POD located in Amherst, Ohio.

Image acquired on January 7th, 2012.Canon 40D, 1/350 second, 800 ISO, avi file captured using EOS Image Recorder, 3500 images at 20f/s.  Aligned in Registax, best 25% stacked.  Stretched and processed in Adobe Photoshop.

Want your own Image Gallery on the Lunt website?  Email us your picture and bio, solar images and camera info to luntsolarimages@hotmail.com

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